South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 1st day December 18, 2013

Don't think SA quicks were threatening - Kohli

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After scoring a hundred in his first Test innings in South Africa, a knock that reminded Allan Donald of Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli displayed a sense of occasion befitting an elder statesman, and some anger at host broadcasters. Both motivate him, and should not be overly frowned upon. It was at Wanderers that Kohli was hit by a short ball in the ribcage - he was early on the pull - a clip that was shown during the third ODI with a caption that said "Virat Kotli - softened up." It was by all accounts a harmless piece of television to accompany a commentary discussion about getting hit on the body and then coming back, but it obviously rubbed India the wrong way.

At Wanderers again, Kohli pulled Dale Steyn for two fours, and Jacques Kallis for one. The third of these pulls was sumptuous, but not as spicy as Kohli's description of it. "Apparently I was pretty soft after the first ODI," Kohli said. "I always had it in mind that we were all going to get short stuff unless you attack them. So rather get out playing your shots than fishing outside the off stump. I was prepared and I was watching the ball closely. Later on they started bowling at the fifth-sixth [stump], so I don't know where that bodyline bowling went. It is all about dictating terms when you bat. You can't always play under pressure. Let them know you are here to compete. We have shown we have learnt from mistakes, we have practised hard. We stuck to plans, and you will see us improving as we play next."

Dictating the terms remained the refrain of the Kohli press conference. "I have been waiting for this opportunity to bat up the order," Kohli said. "It's something that I badly wanted to do in Test cricket because I am so used to going in at No. 3 in ODIs. I like to be in the action early on and get in while conditions are tough and then dictate terms. I had a plan in mind that I wanted to stick to, and wasn't thinking about bowling, conditions, or the wicket. I just wanted to execute my plan."

That does sound a bit like Ricky Ponting. There was more to come, without being disrespectful or obnoxious. "I don't think they were threatening at all," Kohli said of South Africa's attack. "They are quality bowlers, but it was about respecting the conditions early on when you went in and the kind of bowling you were facing after that. You have got to get in and back yourself throughout. If they are good enough to play at this level, so are you. I had that belief, but had to respect the good balls that are being thrown at you. At the same time, you have got to be aware of cashing in on opportunities that are presented. That was key to my knock today, I latched on to whatever chances came my way, putting them away for boundaries."

The press conference wasn't all about sledging, though. Kohli displayed his mellow side too. "Funny because even during the ODIs versus Australia, I was thinking about getting a Test hundred in South Africa," he said. "That was all that was on my mind. I wasn't even focussing on those ODIs or any other games we played against West Indies. Every training session we had I was motivating myself to do something like this. Because I know how special it has been for players to get a hundred in South Africa, it was very pleasing to do so. It is probably the best I have batted in Test cricket till now. It is just about building on to it and it feels nice when you plan something and it comes together, especially against a world-class bowling attack."

Kohli expressed disappointment at not having batted through the day, but was not thinking twice about the shot he played, a wide ball that he chased, which stopped on him and lobbed for a catch to short cover.

"If you are batting at 120 and don't got for your shots, you can never go for your shots."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 20, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    for all them who are criticizing south african test team please remember the odi series where india came as favourites and last 2-0 being a number 1 team

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | December 20, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    @ Daniel kerr - Look at the scoreline now, South Africa is the overrated team & Kallis the backyard bully gone for a golden duck. in 1st INNINGS India leads by 36 runs. LOL

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    I do remember a test last year where the South African bowlers looked toothless on the first day. I think it was on the Oval, a field where South Africa never won. Can any one remember what happened next? Similar to this match! England was in tears!

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | December 19, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Logic of a few guy here is that SA have shown their bowling might by taking the wickets of tail-enders on day two, that too when it was overcast & the bottom 5 had 5 walking wickets.

    Fact is, on Day One, barring Dhawan, SA troubled no Indian batsman. Kohli & Pujara showed that Steyn & Morkel can be tackled & on various occasions in the match, Philander, Kallis & Tahir looked distinctly 3rd grade. By taking 4 lower order wickets, Philander kept his stats intact but this does nothing to dispel the notion that basically he is rather ordinary & like Anderson needs swing to get going. If Bhuvi had a Steyn like bowler at the other end he would have Philander like stats too.

    As for Kohli, he got a 100, looked in no trouble at all & got out due to a lapse in concentration & not due to any great bowling by SA. Thus he has the right to say that SA bowling wasn't threatening on Day One.

    It is to be noted that Steyn was limping on Day One itself. Scarring by sleight-of-hand by Kohli perhaps???

  • POSTED BY Smahuta on | December 19, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Today the conditions are the usual bowlers conditions we see at the wanderers. Lucky for india that it was not like this yesterday or they might have been skittled for less than 50. Now we will see how the SA batters can handle the conditions and how the indian bowlers manage to exploit them. The sun is coming out, looking forward to 2 good sessions today!!!

  • POSTED BY VinodGupte on | December 19, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Ahem. 5/25 on day 2 tells a different story.

  • POSTED BY Rashgul on | December 19, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Ha! Quicks not threatening. India have just been bowled all out for less than 300. No offensive, but you can never write off the best pace and seam attack in the world. They will not have many bad days and to be honest, Kohli should be less bullish and more respectful

  • POSTED BY Big_Poppa_94 on | December 19, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Kohli can be as cocky and arrogant as he wants. It is better having that, than being a meek mouse.

    These current Indian batsman are fearless. For most, this is their FIRST series away from India and their FIRST in South Africa.

    I still think India will compete well in both matches. As long as they do that and show fight, I will be content. Who knows, even nick a win?

  • POSTED BY Smahuta on | December 19, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    And very funny now to see the headline "Quicks demolish India for 280" and right below that we see this article. Love it Cricinfo, this is priceless.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | December 19, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Postive thinking from young player-virat

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 20, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    for all them who are criticizing south african test team please remember the odi series where india came as favourites and last 2-0 being a number 1 team

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | December 20, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    @ Daniel kerr - Look at the scoreline now, South Africa is the overrated team & Kallis the backyard bully gone for a golden duck. in 1st INNINGS India leads by 36 runs. LOL

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    I do remember a test last year where the South African bowlers looked toothless on the first day. I think it was on the Oval, a field where South Africa never won. Can any one remember what happened next? Similar to this match! England was in tears!

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | December 19, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Logic of a few guy here is that SA have shown their bowling might by taking the wickets of tail-enders on day two, that too when it was overcast & the bottom 5 had 5 walking wickets.

    Fact is, on Day One, barring Dhawan, SA troubled no Indian batsman. Kohli & Pujara showed that Steyn & Morkel can be tackled & on various occasions in the match, Philander, Kallis & Tahir looked distinctly 3rd grade. By taking 4 lower order wickets, Philander kept his stats intact but this does nothing to dispel the notion that basically he is rather ordinary & like Anderson needs swing to get going. If Bhuvi had a Steyn like bowler at the other end he would have Philander like stats too.

    As for Kohli, he got a 100, looked in no trouble at all & got out due to a lapse in concentration & not due to any great bowling by SA. Thus he has the right to say that SA bowling wasn't threatening on Day One.

    It is to be noted that Steyn was limping on Day One itself. Scarring by sleight-of-hand by Kohli perhaps???

  • POSTED BY Smahuta on | December 19, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Today the conditions are the usual bowlers conditions we see at the wanderers. Lucky for india that it was not like this yesterday or they might have been skittled for less than 50. Now we will see how the SA batters can handle the conditions and how the indian bowlers manage to exploit them. The sun is coming out, looking forward to 2 good sessions today!!!

  • POSTED BY VinodGupte on | December 19, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Ahem. 5/25 on day 2 tells a different story.

  • POSTED BY Rashgul on | December 19, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Ha! Quicks not threatening. India have just been bowled all out for less than 300. No offensive, but you can never write off the best pace and seam attack in the world. They will not have many bad days and to be honest, Kohli should be less bullish and more respectful

  • POSTED BY Big_Poppa_94 on | December 19, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Kohli can be as cocky and arrogant as he wants. It is better having that, than being a meek mouse.

    These current Indian batsman are fearless. For most, this is their FIRST series away from India and their FIRST in South Africa.

    I still think India will compete well in both matches. As long as they do that and show fight, I will be content. Who knows, even nick a win?

  • POSTED BY Smahuta on | December 19, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    And very funny now to see the headline "Quicks demolish India for 280" and right below that we see this article. Love it Cricinfo, this is priceless.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | December 19, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Postive thinking from young player-virat

  • POSTED BY kingkarthik on | December 19, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    One innings and this guy has to talk so much. Wow. He makes it sound like India have won the series already. This is going to come back and bite him. Kohli for all his talent is a poor student of the game. One good day does not make the test series.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 19, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    talking about overrated cricket teams look no further than india how often do they win outside india where they cant twi or three spinners. they have no pace attack and the scoreline now suggests they cant play on a wickets that bounce above knee height.

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | December 19, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    dunger.bob: Congrats on Ashes win...After this Ind tour the one series which am really looking forward is Aus vs SA...especially how SA play johnson and company since India dont have the pace batter of that quality I would very much like to see how Aus bowlers trouble the SA batsmen....

  • POSTED BY Smahuta on | December 19, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    I forgot to add. while Kohli might be sitting smugly on the balcony now tinkingthe attack is not threatening, none of the other batters have managed to look convincing at all apart from rahane. The openers looked clueless as how to score even singles to rotate the strike. That said, 350 is usually a good score first digs here, but this does not look like normal wanderers pitch so 350 may be par, who knows till both sides have had a bat.

  • POSTED BY Smahuta on | December 19, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    respect to Kohli for his wonderful knock but we will see how threatening the SA quicks are once this test is over.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 19, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    @ Zain29: Wonderful to read such words from a Pakistani poster. Virat Kohli is unquestionably the real deal. There's a touch of Ricky Ponting in him as well. You mentioned Gavaskar and Tendulkar but not Dravid? He was perhaps the most solid of them all.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Kohli, big words before you have proved them wrong. The match isn't over, and right now, India is not in a dominating position. Win the series and then we will see what you have said is right or wrong. I hope you prove yourself. Best of luck to you.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 19, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    I must say I was surprised that the SA bowlers werent as effective as expected. No doubt the Indian batting was better than expected but is SA conditions they are ususally unplayable on a fresh wicket.

    Like Kholi's interview and I've been stating on other threads and before the series the biggest difference in the new generation Indian batter is attitude and not being intimidated and this interview shows that very clearly.

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | December 19, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Day 1... 255 for 5....good but not that impressive....its not ODI its a test...It has 5 days...SA are no. 1 for a reason. Kohli is a great Batsman but his comments are very unTendulkarish. Indian fans are already talking...lets see where they go if things turn around? My bet SA would score more than 400 in this wicket. Maybe even more. But its cricket you never know.. India could also be all out within 300. So lets not get too ahead of ourselves lets wait for the result. My guess...SA would win 1-0 with this Test match Drawn. (Just a guess)

  • POSTED BY zain29 on | December 19, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    I have watched Indian batsmen very closely for the last 30 yrs and barring Sunil & Sachin, most of them with a hint of scepticism. However after having seen Virat's innings yesterday, I can say without doubt, that this was the best innings by a South Asian batsmen against genuine pace in the last 20 yrs of Test Match cricket. For starters, it was the opening day of the series, when the SA quicks were fresh, fired up and raring to go. 24/2 did'nt make very good reading, when Kohli stepped in. His real genius came about in the way he took the brunt of the pressure, and then constructed the innings, making everyone play around him. Secondly his strike rate did'nt slacken, which never let the pressure build up. By close of play, with India comfortably placed at 255/5, the SA attack was looking "Mortal" to say the least. Viva Virat!! - you sure have set the tone for the series. The onus is now on SA. - Karachi

  • POSTED BY USIndianFan on | December 19, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Clearly an aging lineup...

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | December 19, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    This is interesting. It looks as though the lower ranked teams in both series (this one and the ashes) are refusing to back down to their more illustrious opponents.

    India need at least 100 more runs to be safish, 150-200 to be really safe. 255 isn't a lot of runs in a day so I'm guessing it's not the easiest pitch but, as usual, it's best to wait until both teams have batted before deciding too much about the deck.

    Congrats to Kohli. He's a fighter, there's no doubt about that. It's a good thing he's got the talent to back up his mouth but I've got no problem with self aware athletes anyway, so it doesn't worry me what he says.

    I'll be watching this match closely since we are due in SA in Feb. .. Work em over a bit please India.

  • POSTED BY King-Cobra on | December 19, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Real pity on the SA fans. It was only the No.1 ranking in tests which gave some identity to them in the world cricket arena. And now they can't bear their world class bowling attack going toothless against Pakistan earlier and now against a young Indian batting line-up. Don't worry there lads! You shall be soon put out of misery and a worthy team will take hold of the No.1 mantle !!!

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | December 19, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Well played Kohli. So far so good. Forget those ODI's, treat them as practice session. Now is the bid deal. The first part of the job is done. SA had one plan and that was try to intimidate. Didn't work. And then SA kind of got exposed with their spin bowling. Again, so far so good. Now there is the second part - that is not to let them bat long. Yes, if they are good enough to play at this level, so are you! There is a dent in their confidence, now rip it open. Its a level playing field now with slight advantage on India side. Make it count.

  • POSTED BY a.p.roy on | December 19, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    Imran Tahir is of no use against India,it'd be better if there was another pacer in his place

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    None of the team in the cricket world have 5 good bowlers. Each and every team relay heavily on 1st and 2nd pacer to perform. If they fail then the mediocare 3rd, 4th & 5th bowlers are vanishing. Some how Aussies leart to tackle Anderson and Broad. Hence Swan was not able to get any wickets. Same way here at Wanderes. Keep Steyn quiet with the new ball, let him talk with his mouth. India can easily win / draw level in this test series. Steyn is no good when the ball is not swinging to a very good batting teams like Australia and England. I hope Indian batsman not to give any wickets to him.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    Smith made a mistake by picking up a spinner as a frontline bowler in Tahir. If some quick overs needed to be bowled he could have bowled Duminy or himself. Traditionally, Indians have been very good against spinners. Though the current crop of players cannot be considered on par with Laxman / Tendulkar in countering spin, Imran is no Shane Warne either. Especially in these conditions SA have missed a trick by not going for a all pace attack.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | December 19, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    I think on current form, the Australian bowling line up is the best.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    He had many times reminded me of Ponting with his actions, speech and approach to the game. Good to see him doesn't overact. Hope India can build on 1st day's performance and do well throughout the series. They are capable of that

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 19, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    @Altaf Patel, man Steyn is already limping with cramps by the end of the day. He bowled a lot along with Philander and Morkel. You can't expect them to bowl all the 90 overs. Do you? Smith had to bring on spinners as Indians were methodically nullifying the pacers' wicket taking deliveries. And Indian batsmen readily dispatched the spinners and put pressure back on Smith to bring on pacers. Get a grip on the game. Will you? Indians made things happen by judging the line meticulously. SA pacers and Smith had no clue in tackling the Indian batsmanship on day one. Simple as that. I am sure the SA pacers will be sore and stiff when they return to the field on day two.

  • POSTED BY Ind_cric_lover on | December 19, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    @ Sachin O. Khairnar : I guess Manish Pandey is a right hander unless you watch him in a mirror!! Yeah Vijay doesn't look too good for overseas tests and we should NOT make Pujara an opener just because he is a fine no. 3 batsman. By that same logic Rahane should open as he plays one-down for Mumbai if I am not mistaken. If Vijay fails and Gambhir is in form then Gambhir should be our 2nd opener. He has also proven record outside subcontinent including South Africa

  • POSTED BY kumarcoolbuddy on | December 19, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    @Daniel Kerr, please define what is doctored pitches. I am definitely not carried with this show on 1st day but what I am surprised of is SA doesn't have good spinners and SA pitches have least support for spin bowling. What is the secret behind that? Regardless of the result this is a good test cricket and so far I respect SA more than ENG or AUS. SA players are currently in good form and definitely not over rated.

  • POSTED BY ShrishailK on | December 19, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    After a long long time, watching an entire day of Indian batting was so pleasing..All this talk abt Overrated players is non-sense..Players tend to have on n off days.. Most of the Indian wickets that fell y'day were more of give aways (than SA bowlers earning them) It'd be really interesting to watch SA come back in 2nd day. As they say, we dont know abt the pitch, conditions until both teams finish their 1st innings.. All this is poised for a wonderful Test match ahead..

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    I think Dhawan & Vijay handled new ball well. Vijay played around 50 balls and looked confident. Let them settle and kohli is world class. Rohit is in cloud9 and has to overcome from indian dry wicket records.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    yes. its magnificent performance.class a part. all the pre-match talk had been answered with his batting. pujara with a bit of luck could have the perfect answer to many people. rohit wasted his chance . rahane showing his class. i think bowling of 90 overs hardly twenty overs can be counted as they are all throwing the bowls wide of off stump line. hardly bothered indian batting line up.

  • POSTED BY Anubhav-the-Experience on | December 19, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Its excellent how Kohli achieves success...Inspires us to do the same in our own lives. I felt that AB will be exhausted after yesterday's performance...there was no sting in bowling after the first session. The first session was difficult for Indians...but Vijay and Rahane both were impressive with their confidence. I have seen Rahane being afraid due to the big stage syndrome and not able to move bat in his hand...Something have changed and it looks as if Indians are playing in India itself...South Africa has lacked a good 3rd and 4th good fast bowler since forever. Tahir has the best opportunity to do something.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    This batting order should be kept for next 3 tests (1 SA and 2 NZ) too, and give the chance to youngsters to get settled. After that if still Vijay doesnt looks settled than team should be 1. Dhawan 2. Pujara 3. Ponting aka Kohli 4. Rahane 5. Rohit 6. Manish Pandey (he is a left hander that we need and he have it in him to do big in tests, if not sure see his ranji record). 7. Dhoni 8. Ashwin 9. Shami 10 Bhuvi/Umesh (Bhuvi only in swinging conditions like they are in England), 11. Zaheer (After he retires Aaroon/Ishant). If you people are not happy with Manish Pandey over there, suggest another left hander batsmen who will handled the situtation @6 position. I have others in mind are right handers Rayudu, M.Tiwary.

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | December 19, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    SA quicks were furious and the way Dhawan and Murali struggled to score runs proved that and finally they lost the wickets cheaply. But Smith didn't use them efficiently. He provided short spells to Morkel, Steyn, Morkle and why he used Tahir and Duminy to give away 77 runs in just 13 overs. Kohli scored his 50 runs against spinners. Spinners allow Indian batsmen play freely and ease the pressure. They didn't have to score against Steyn/Morkel as spinners were providing them more than enough runs quidly and risk-free.

  • POSTED BY pakyya on | December 19, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    What a wonderfull display of Cricket by Kohli,,,well deserved century and what a fightback by Pujara too, but i feel Kohli must have carried India to Safety,,,,I think tomorrow the South africans will blow us away and might not even let us cross 300. Hoping not to see that.

  • POSTED BY Lallubhai on | December 19, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    Where are Pakistani's TODAY? Feeling very very dissapointed because India are acclimatiseing? and knowing that in 10-15 years form now ,they will not only have the most powerfull board but also the most successful cricket team in the world. pak will be even further down the bottom than the are now.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 19, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    that's what walking the talk means. ... no wonder he is good learner, his attitude is just amazing.... I would say he has blend of class of the previous no4 for India and the attitude and aggression of Ponting.... we sure can expect many records.from him....

  • POSTED BY Philippe on | December 19, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    best way to show aggression Mr. Kohli... first hitting a ton & then saying right in the eyes... i like that.... SA & Quicks r over rated.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 19, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    @Daniel Kerr, if you want to look at doctored pitches, look no further than SA, Aus, Eng. For e.g. look at the last Perth wicket - disgraceful cracks on the pitch even at good length and one Lyon delivery hit the crack and ended up with the leg slip fielder. If we can call that a pitch, then we can as well lift roads from rural India and call them as pitches too.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    We compare this guy with Sachin but he looks more like Ponting in temperament of imposing himself on opposition and attitude of 'on your face' kind. Do not undermine SA attack, they are called best for some reason. But that said, you all guys are talented, I know you can play them well. Set small targets of 10 runs and try to reach out closer to 350. And if Dhoni is still there by fall of 9th wicket, we can even reach higher. But if he goes early, I am not sure we would be able to reach even 300. Stop talking, these things always comes to bite on the back. Didn't it to SA bowlers who said Indians are afraid of short bowling?

  • POSTED BY Katey on | December 19, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    This is Test cricket with a capital T. The way it should be played.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 19, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    After one hundred and now he is the best batsman in the world? I don't think so. Have a look at the ICC test batsman list to see who the real best batsman in the world is.

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | December 19, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    @Daniel Kerr.... i think all batsmen left the ball well.... all of them had a plan to play on the bouncy wicket, and even if the openers didnt make the runs, they took the shine off the ball....

  • POSTED BY truecric_fan on | December 19, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    Steyn and co performed way below expectations. I have stated before that Indian Batsman are highly over rated, so are the SA bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    Kohli's ton is an excellent one, but he could have carried it further to make it little big that would have dwarfed the SA bowling attack. Dhawan should learn to be patient, if you could see again the six balls he played Steyn, you could see he is in a bit of hurry. And Pujara was unlucky, reminds us of Dravid had the patience and potential for another possible 100 before being run out. Hope he will do in coming matches. Rahane is cute to watch and shows class. They must carry forward and look for 350+ runs. Well done India.

  • POSTED BY RahulHariharan on | December 19, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    Except for Morkel in first spell SA bowling was no way near the mark.. wait for your judgement of the batsman.. also the pitch was not having the venom as expected .. even he had his share of luck in the initial stages..agree many batsmen get... also no way near to the great man...

  • POSTED BY DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on | December 19, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    leaving a ball is a art like drawing the test match. Watching vijay leaving the ball is awesome. First time i watched test match so closely, i loved the way he was leaving the ball. He took the shine but did nt score.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 19, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Lucky kohli can bat the rest of the top order was a bit ordinary. He was the only one who score runs on bouncy pitches in Australia. Shame the Indian board were to scared to play more than two tests they would prefer to look good winning at home on doctored pitches

  • POSTED BY mincos on | December 19, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    India doesnt have the bowling to get 20 wickets.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    A Bit of swagger from kohli.... a definite mix of sachin and punter.... wish it was a 4 or 5 match series.... intense test cricket....

  • POSTED BY Hanumall on | December 19, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Kohli scores again with his wonderful statement, coming on top of an excellent performance on the field. He talks as sensibly as his bat did in its interaction with Steyn & co. Shows self belief without bravado and aggression without condescension.

  • POSTED BY Pankreap on | December 19, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    Really,as i said,it was just a matter of getting acclimatised to the conditions.I don't know why indian fans r being so pessimist.India is their to compete,i can tell you that.And as kohli pointed out that south african bowlers are not threatening,sa bowlers r really overrated.Though they r world class bowlers,but look at dale steyn and morkel,they just keep on boasting about their bowling often taking opposition as underdogs. As far as their batting is concerned,why they r talking about India considering they themselves have'nt been able to chase even 180 without any choking.yepp

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Love the way he walk the talk. Pure Champ! "After bowling short they went bowling 5-6th stump, So I don't know where that bodyline bowling went" LOL! Well said.

    It's just about settling to the condition, if you guve these Indian kids playing 4-5 day games in SA, they'll come out Hammering SA bowlers in their backyard. Which they will eventually do, it's just about time and preparation, talent and hunger for success is never an issue with Indian batting talent.

  • POSTED BY sandy_bangalore on | December 19, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    Without doubt the worlds best batsman. Take a bow man! And take that, SA media

  • POSTED BY JD04 on | December 19, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    It's "boosting up confidence" talk, but it seems that the younger player barring one or two have started learning from mistakes. I wonder what Morkel have to say, though he was the most threatening amongst the rest. Gavaskar had pinned hopes on the "fast-learning" youngesters. Probably he was right!

  • POSTED BY Pankreap on | December 19, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Really,as i said,it was just a matter of getting acclimatised to the conditions.I don't know why indian fans r being so pessimist.India is their to compete,i can tell you that.And as kohli pointed out that south african bowlers are not threatening,sa bowlers r really overrated.Though they r world class bowlers,but look at dale steyn and morkel,they just keep on boasting about their bowling often taking opposition as underdogs. As far as their batting is concerned,why they r talking about India considering they themselves have'nt been able to chase even 180 without any choking.yepp

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Dear Dale Steyn, when you can bowl late out-swingers at 145 KMPH like in a dream, just do that. Dont spray it all around with shortballs and bouncers. You are not accutate when you bowl short. You are not Mitchell Johnson.

    Steyn is much more than a tear away quick. He is as accurate with his late out swingers as anybody has ever been.

    When he is at his best, those swingers will pitch on the middle stump line just above the good length and would be heading towards the upper half of the off stump. Whereas, yesterday hardly any balls delivered by him would have hit the stumps.

    I reckon he got a bit carried away with the notion of 'Indian batsmen struggle against the shortpith' theory, especially after he nailed Shikhar Dhawan with a short one early on.

    His last spell before the close of the play was really disappointing. Ajinkya Rahane was not at all made to play with chest high deliveries bowled well wide of the off stump.

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | December 19, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    Excellent words by Kohli. Hope Rahane, Dhoni and others to come push the score past 350 and put pressure on SA. You never know, it all takes 1 collapse from SA for India to boss the match. Well done, Kohli!

  • POSTED BY Vnott on | December 19, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    Awesome. The only tragedy was he ran Pujara out else we might have seen two hundreds yesterday. Can Rahane do it today. Thats a long shot. But it will be great if Dhoni, Rahane and Ashwin bat around till lunch or an hour after lunch that will set up the match nicely.

  • POSTED BY ThinkerDR on | December 19, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Excellent Response! Bravo Virat!!

  • POSTED BY humdrum on | December 19, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    After having batted the way he did,there's no need to be self effacing and if anything,Kohli was a bit of that.If the media and the bowlers can have a go at you on and off the field,its fair game if you talk after your bat has silenced them.The stand with Pujara was worth its weight in gold for India,and the innings from both should be seen in the light of zero acclimatisation and batting practice.Well done,mate.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | December 19, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    Hahaha i love this kid, i wish he played for Australia. Speaks his mind and doesn't back down, a bit like David Warner. The good thing is that he backs it up with runs.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2013, 0:00 GMT

    A matured innings by Kohli, no doubt. Kudos to him. It is amazing how well he adjusted to test mode, he curved his natural instinct, stayed there, left a lot of balls and only punished the loose balls, still the strike rate is good. No doubt, though arrogant and egoistic he is here to stay. Even the great Ponting was arrogant in his younger days. Virat reminds me of Ponting in his earlier days.

  • POSTED BY BigINDFan on | December 18, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    I like the aggression and the confidence. Yes it sounds like Ricky Ponting and we all know he was a class act. SA knew Kohli was their danger man and targeted him during the ODIs. But he learnt quickly that you have to respect the conditions and the bowlers. Pujara was unlucky and Rohit was once again loose. Vijay was out of his depth but fought hard. Dhawan tried hitting out but he needs to be patient and take a few blows or leave a lot. These guys can take the game away from any opposition so Eng and Aus better watch out. They play so freely and are aggressive. Let us hope the bowlers are aggressive. Zak needs to mentor Ishant and Shami. Ashwin can only do better than what Duminy and Tahir did.

    I would say the best SA bowler is Morne Morkel not Steyn. Steyn is aggressive and plans a lot. Morkel is dangerous since he can really bounce out the best batsmen in the world. I would love to see Ponting vs Morkel again. Lets hope Kohli can provide that throughout this series.

  • POSTED BY shivshankarb on | December 18, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    Brilliant Virat! good batting on field and off the field too :) I wish Ajikya will follow you tomorrow, it will be icing on cake!

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 18, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    Kohli was right. Steyn & co is overhyped. Talking too much and not doing anything in the field. These bowlers as bland as you get. Steyn good only in swinging pitches...he was all over the place in first few overs. Morkel with all the height and bounce he is not intimidating because you can predict morkel line. Philander is not threatening , his wickets mostly come from batsman mistakes at poking things. Less i say about tahir is better. I used to think he is just unlucky then i saw his first ball ..short and despatched for four. He is not spinner SA looking for. He is at best local club level player. He bowls too many freebies to like him anymore even his actions are good. Big blunder by SA to select him.

    I am more worried about SA. if Graeme smith can thwart Zaheer , SA can win this one. if zaheer gets smith then tough time for SA

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    good mentality...a little Australian like :-)

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    Like it or not, This lad has the right attitude and is special. He may not have the tightest technique, but compensates by his determination and attitude. Reminds me of young Ponting, but he has potential to exceed him.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | December 18, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    A very disciplined & authoritative century by Kohli must ave come as a shock to the SA pace bowlers who were over the moon after their ODI series win. They even went to the extent that they had scared the Indian batsmen & they start in an advantageous position in the tests. But Kohli silenced their talk by walking the talk Himself. That is a decisive answer which goes a long way in getting the initiative back. He pulled the short balls from Steyn & kallis with such authority that they stopped any more short stuff to Kohli.There were some SA fans who were predicting SA will end Day 1 @ 278 for 1. If Pujara was not run out, India might have been at that score for 2 wkts at the end of the day. Tat run out of Pujara was one blemish which dictated whether India were in control or SA, at the end of Day 1. Right now it is evenly matched with SA having a marginal upper hand because India went in with just 4 bowlers - 3 seamers (instead of 4) + a spinner. It is an unwise & risky move by Dhoni!

  • POSTED BY saikiran77 on | December 18, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Kohli is the future of Indian cricket among the current youngsters. His determination for scoring runs is fantastic and he is going to be the game changer for the indian cricket future.

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 18, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    Ego the size of a Jovian moon. Not the brightest guy going around, sledging the SA attack in public. Having said that, we saw on the Australian tour last year that the SA attack can be bullied. 484 runs in a shortened day says it all. I still can't work out how Philander takes wickets in test cricket. He bowls five clicks slower than Shane Watson and looked innocuous when in Australia.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | December 18, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    "I don't think they were threatening at all." No, that doesn't sound disrespectful, MUCH!

  • POSTED BY chitti_cricket on | December 18, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Virat, you are a quality batsman, no doubt in that mate. But don't call too early, these SA bowlers are too good and took them to #1 Ranking by dislodging your team and England as predecessors. No doubt your batting today was a feast to eyes but mate some of the balls Stayen and Co bowled at you truly tested you and your technique, is it not? First up, I have not seen an Indian team doing at least this much in an overseas tour for so long (ever since Australia 2003-4). This blog brings some kind of confidence and pleasure into team India is certain. Now if India has to do any better in this test they have to score further 100-150 runs and bowl good and take all catches even half chances that come their way. Catching and fielding is key aspect, I think even our bowlers with ZK into our team might pose a good bowling pack but fielding is very very important if at all they think of making any impact on this match. Good luck team India and hope you derive something of this good work.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 18, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    As i said before , SA messed up with selection. Picking spinner over fast bowler ? What they are thinking ? SA as a team always makes mistakes , they have talent but they always tend to make one or two mistakes that costs them. All bravado before test started and they messed up completely. Whether it is a belter or not we will know tomorrow. i hope its belter. Otherwise it will get ugly for SA

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    Excellent Excellent Virat Kohli... this is what champions are made up of.. Respect from Pakistan

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | December 18, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    Good attitude from Kohli, exactly what is required from the rest of the crew, that is respect for the opposition but no fear.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    well said Virat, india needed one quality performance to boost their moral, well they've got one now

  • POSTED BY blthndr on | December 18, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    kohli is a fast learner and a super confident cricketer not over confident who can stamp his authority on his day without any fuss...he is growing up day by day not just as a batsman bt also as a person...now thats a mature talk with some measure....

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  • POSTED BY blthndr on | December 18, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    kohli is a fast learner and a super confident cricketer not over confident who can stamp his authority on his day without any fuss...he is growing up day by day not just as a batsman bt also as a person...now thats a mature talk with some measure....

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    well said Virat, india needed one quality performance to boost their moral, well they've got one now

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | December 18, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    Good attitude from Kohli, exactly what is required from the rest of the crew, that is respect for the opposition but no fear.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    Excellent Excellent Virat Kohli... this is what champions are made up of.. Respect from Pakistan

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 18, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    As i said before , SA messed up with selection. Picking spinner over fast bowler ? What they are thinking ? SA as a team always makes mistakes , they have talent but they always tend to make one or two mistakes that costs them. All bravado before test started and they messed up completely. Whether it is a belter or not we will know tomorrow. i hope its belter. Otherwise it will get ugly for SA

  • POSTED BY chitti_cricket on | December 18, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Virat, you are a quality batsman, no doubt in that mate. But don't call too early, these SA bowlers are too good and took them to #1 Ranking by dislodging your team and England as predecessors. No doubt your batting today was a feast to eyes but mate some of the balls Stayen and Co bowled at you truly tested you and your technique, is it not? First up, I have not seen an Indian team doing at least this much in an overseas tour for so long (ever since Australia 2003-4). This blog brings some kind of confidence and pleasure into team India is certain. Now if India has to do any better in this test they have to score further 100-150 runs and bowl good and take all catches even half chances that come their way. Catching and fielding is key aspect, I think even our bowlers with ZK into our team might pose a good bowling pack but fielding is very very important if at all they think of making any impact on this match. Good luck team India and hope you derive something of this good work.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | December 18, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    "I don't think they were threatening at all." No, that doesn't sound disrespectful, MUCH!

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 18, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    Ego the size of a Jovian moon. Not the brightest guy going around, sledging the SA attack in public. Having said that, we saw on the Australian tour last year that the SA attack can be bullied. 484 runs in a shortened day says it all. I still can't work out how Philander takes wickets in test cricket. He bowls five clicks slower than Shane Watson and looked innocuous when in Australia.

  • POSTED BY saikiran77 on | December 18, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Kohli is the future of Indian cricket among the current youngsters. His determination for scoring runs is fantastic and he is going to be the game changer for the indian cricket future.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | December 18, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    A very disciplined & authoritative century by Kohli must ave come as a shock to the SA pace bowlers who were over the moon after their ODI series win. They even went to the extent that they had scared the Indian batsmen & they start in an advantageous position in the tests. But Kohli silenced their talk by walking the talk Himself. That is a decisive answer which goes a long way in getting the initiative back. He pulled the short balls from Steyn & kallis with such authority that they stopped any more short stuff to Kohli.There were some SA fans who were predicting SA will end Day 1 @ 278 for 1. If Pujara was not run out, India might have been at that score for 2 wkts at the end of the day. Tat run out of Pujara was one blemish which dictated whether India were in control or SA, at the end of Day 1. Right now it is evenly matched with SA having a marginal upper hand because India went in with just 4 bowlers - 3 seamers (instead of 4) + a spinner. It is an unwise & risky move by Dhoni!